According to the California Horse Racing Board, Data Hawk died at Golden Gate Friday: “accident – skull,” no other details given. Data Hawk was three years old. Prior to his most recent race, January 10, he was sold – yes, the ubiquitous “claiming race,” our answer to all who claim to love their horses as their children.
Meanwhile, the killing, as expected, returns to Santa Anita. Saturday, the track says, Double Touch dropped dead while training – “cause unknown.” Double Touch was only five years old, not yet fully mature. Dropped dead. This is horseracing.
Let’s start with the obvious: All horseracing is animal abuse. All of it – no matter the form, no matter the level, no matter the country, no matter the state, no matter the “connections.” Horseracing is inherently cruel. Period. But every once in a while, someone manages to ratchet up that cruelty just a tad.
5-year-old Blazingulch was raced at Rillito Park in Tucson at 3:45 pm Saturday. (That race, by the way, was about as cheap a race as you can get: All the entries were “For Sale” prior to at a pittance – $2,000.) At 1:00 pm the next day, Blazingulch was put to the whip at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. So: raced, loaded onto a truck, shipped some two hours away, unloaded, raced again (where, unsurprisingly, he finished dead last, “trailing the field”). All in less than 24 hours. Oh, and injected with Lasix for both races.
The wretched (feel free to insert your own adjectives) man responsible – among others: where were the Turf vets/stewards? – is trainer/owner Juan Pablo Silva.
In the 3rd at Laurel Saturday, Birdies Honor, says Equibase, “collapsed on the gallop out and was vanned off.” I can now confirm that the 4-year-old Birdies is indeed dead, a “cardiac event” of some sort. He was under the whip for the 32nd time.
According to the NYS Gaming Commission, A Freud of Mama “passed” Saturday “after post-op complications from [a] fracture sustained on Belmont training track January 24.” So now these horses are “passing” as opposed to simply dying. Wow. The Commission, of course, filed this under “other” even as it reports the fatal injury occurred on-track. And this, folks, is just one of the ways Racing massages its kill numbers. A Freud of Mama was but two and had been put to the whip six times.
This is horseracing.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has confirmed the death of Rock n’ Candy in the 4th at Turfway December 5:
“The gelding pulled up lame post-race and the attending KHRC veterinarian summoned the ambulance. KHRC veterinarians administered a sedative/analgesic to assist in loading onto the horse ambulance and to minimize further injury. The gelding was transported to his barn and after consulting with the private veterinarian the decision was made to euthanize him due to a poor prognosis.”
“The proximal left hind limb was swollen, with a large amount of subcutaneous hemorrhage extending from the left pelvis to the stifle. There was marked tearing of the musculature surrounding the left hemi-pelvis, with a complete fracture of the left ilium. There was severe, extensive ulceration of the stomach.”
Rock n’ Candy was just five years old. Vile. Horseracing.